Cuzco Peru Restaurant in Briarwood, Queens, NY – Desperate Seafood for Desperate Souls

A few weekends ago, I was exploring a neighborhood in Queens by myself and came upon this restaurant called Cuzco Peru on Queens Blvd in Briarwood. Although it felt like new, I realized that I had been to this restaurant before with a group of people. Cuzco Peru specializes in Peruvian cuisine (who would have guessed?) and if I recalled correctly, the food was good but the service was slow.

This is the Jalea: fried, breaded seafood platter topped with onions and tomatoes in lime juice. It was a rainy and cold day. My feet were wet from jogging through the slush in Queens. I needed fried food and the waitress talked me into it! But it was not so good… The seafood was the frozen kind. All traces of sea-ness had been fried out of them. Bad. The one point of redemption was on the roasted corn kernels. I picked them out and ate them all.

This is the Aji Verde, the Peruvian green chili sauce. This was the best part of the meal. Loved dipping my $15 mostly calamari seafood platter pieces into this sauce. Nice zing!

This restaurant does not have a site nor a FB page. You cannot find their menu anywhere. So here is my obligatory photos of their menu.


Would I repeat this? I think this place (at least my Jalea) is almost as uninteresting as the Chinese takeout around the corner. So will only repeat if I am desperate. I am desperate about 10% of the time.

This experience took place at

Cuzco Peru Restaurant
13813 Queens Blvd
Jamaica (Briarwood), NY 11435

Salt & Fat in Sunnyside, Queens, NY – A Craving for a New Beginning

Ah, today is the last day of 2014. Looking back, 2014 is a transitional year for me and therefore I feel a post on Salt & Fat is rather appropriate. Craving of salt, fat and sugar is the feeling one gets when things are out of alignment in life, i.e., be your body or your emotional state. It is fitting that I am ending the year with Salt and Fat! Hope the New Year brings much happiness and a new beginning to all.

Salt & Fat is this Korean-inspired small plate restaurant in Sunnyside, Queen, NY. I ended up there one Saturday night because the traffic into the City was horrible and Sunnyside was a much closer destination. But aren’t I glad that I went?

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/970/71374261/files/2014/12/img_1555.jpgWe were seated immediately and popcorn with bacon fat was served. I know some people marveled over the popcorn here. It is all right but in my opinion, popcorn with truffle oil is much more superior than the one with bacon fat. However, it is cute to be served popcorn. I am a fan.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/970/71374261/files/2014/12/img_1554.jpgPrince Edward Island Mussels, chorizo, potatoes, corn, lobster broth. The best part about this dish is the fact that the mussels were very fresh and clean. In addition, the charred bread was an interesting touch. Other than that, I still prefer the French classical preparation of “Moules et frites” in white wine.

This is the Grilled Octopus, with grilled daikon and pine nuts in squid ink. This was an absolutely excellent dish. The combination of grilled octopus with the squid ink was unique and smooths the texture of the octopus and tasted a bit on the salty side. I especially like the grilled daikon soaked with the dripping from the octopus and with the squid ink at the bottom. Very sexy for a daikon. The pine nuts provided a nice contrast to that of the octopus. 🙂

Sadly, they have since taken it off their menu. At the time of this writing, I could not find this dish on their online menu anymore.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/970/71374261/files/2014/12/img_1552.jpgThis is another dish that has been taken off the menu. It is pork fried to perfection on one side, as you can see from the photo. It is brown and crispy, filled with flavor. These three pieces of pork are the best for the night. Very flavorful. I only wish that I had taken a picture of the menu so I could write it with more information and authority .

Whatever it is underneath the pork was nothing to write home about and the onions were dismal. The pork was the shining star for the night.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/970/71374261/files/2014/12/img_1551.jpgWe ended the meal with this complimentary drink. This is a yogurt drink that originated in Asia; it is called 養樂多 (Yang Le Duo) or 多多 (Duo Duo), depending on your age. Duo Duo is the diminutive of Yang Le Duo. I grew up with 多多 Duo Duo and still love to have 多多冰棒(Duo Duo ice pops) every summer when I return to Taiwan. Just writing about this makes me feel a little homesick. I long for the sun and the warm breeze of my tropical island.  Hard to beat the sensation of eating an ice pop in the tropical summer with the NY gray, cold and damp winter now.

Lastly, I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog in 2014 and have found connections and meanings between your food experiences and who you are as a person. I know I have. I am grateful that I am able to leverage writing to connect the dots and appreciate what’s important and precious. Cheers to a new year and a new beginning! Hopefully with less salt, fat and sugar.

This experience took place at

Salt & Fat
41-16 Queens Blvd.
Sunnyside, NY 11104
Tel: 718. 433. 3702